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KGCOE 175th Anniversary bicycle

 Collection — Object: 1
Identifier: RITArc-0595

Scope and Contents

The customized "chopped" bicycle stands 36" in height at the handlebars, and 29.5" at the seat. It is painted silver with some orange flame design on the from. Written on different parts of the frame is "R.I.T.," "K.G.C.O.E.," and "175th anniversary." The bike has a padded "Sting Ray" seat, 4 inch wide tire on the back and "Schwinn" on the wheel frames.


  • Creation: 2005


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2005. A parade was held on April 30th, 2005 to honor and celebrate the school’s history. The Kate Gleason College of Engineering (KGCOE) wanted to enter a technical and unique float that incorporated each of the engineering disciplines. A proposal to convey the past, present, and future theme of the KGCOE float was put together by Dr. James Taylor of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department. The proposal incorporated the popular phenomena of motorcycles and the multidisciplinary senior design course. The “past” would be represented by alumni and friends of alumni riding vintage motorcycles in the parade. The “present” would be represented by a custom chopper built by engineering students in senior design. Children of the R.I.T. faculty, staff and community would ride pedal bikes in the parade to represent the “future” of Rochester Institute of Technology.

The Best of Show award in RIT’s 175th anniversary parade went to the Kate Gleason College of Engineering for one of its Harley Davidson custom chopper motorcycle entries. Working together on the project were three different engineering disciplines and industrial design students who worked directly with the owner of Santa Cruz Harley-Davidson in California.

The owner of Santa Cruz Harley-Davidson, Mike James, donated two brand new (2004) 883C Harley-Davidson Sportster motorcycles to R.I.T. and the senior design course. A multi-disciplinary team of students from KGCOE and the the Industrial Design program designed and developed 2 custom motorcycles using the stock 883C Sportsters, aftermarket purchase parts, and parts manufactured / modified within the R.I.T facilities. The modifications make up a kit that could be mass produced and marketed toward Sportster owners around the world. The team developed two prototype motorcycles that were inevitably the result of an 883C Sportster / Custom Chopper conversion kit modification. The motorcycle is on display in the college of engineering. The team also created five chopper bicycles with RIT 175th anniversary logo, one of which President Al Simone rode in the parade. This bicycle is the one that was donated to RIT Archive Collections.

Project documentation including a technical paper and a powerpoint presentation can be found here:


6 Linear Feet (No container - 1 bicycle)




Collection is a customized bicycle created by students in the RIT Kate Gleason College of Engineering in 2005 during RIT's 175th anniversary celebration. RIT President Albert Simone rode the bike during a celebratory parade.


Collection is one bicycle.

Physical Location

Bicycle is currently located in the RIT Archives storage room 3550.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The bicycle was donated to the RIT Archive Collections by Marilyn Houck in May 2015. Marilyn's son worked on the project and she won the bike in a charity raffle.

Accession number(s):


The bike stands approximately 37" high and 72" long.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in May 2015.



KGCOE 175th Anniversary bicycle
RIT Archives
Jody Sidlauskas
22 May 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA